Pakistan digs trench along Afghan border
(22 September 2014)
The Pakistani military will complete a 480-kilometer trench along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan next month. The two-meter by three-meter trench is located in the southwestern province of Baluchistan.
Pakistani military officials argue that the trench will help prevent illegal border crossings and reduce terrorist infiltration from Afghanistan. According to military spokesperson Major-General Asim Saleem Bajwa, “We have to protect and secure our borders. So, anything that is done on this side of the border remaining within our own area is very much legal.” Afghanistan opposes the trench project, as it makes more permanent the disputed border between the countries. Afghanistan has not accepted the location of the trench, the ‘Durand Line,’ as the international boundary. Afghan Interior Ministry spokesperson Sediq Sediqi responded to news of the trench that, “We strongly condemn it and believe that there can be no justification.”
The trench construction occurs alongside an ongoing Pakistani counter-insurgency program known as “Zarb-e-Azb” taking place in North Waziristan along the Afghan border.
Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench, 14 September 2014, Voice of America, http://www.voanews.com/content/pakistan-rejects-afghan-criticism-of-border-trench/2449357.html
Pakistan digs trenches along borders with Afghanistan to curb infiltrations, 13 September 2014, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2396878&language=en